Two Men, Two Pits and a Blog

Real Men Don’t Need Stoves: Smoked Creamy Chicken & Wild Rice Soup

One Patron’s Foray Into The Fine Art of Hardware Store Dining

It was the last of autumn, and the days they were falling short. All the leaves had fallen, sunbeams in scant supply, and the IMG_13211tweety birds and retired folk had gone south now, to tarry under balmy skies, and big umbrellas. The hardy residents that which remained, however, here in Minnesota, could be found battening down their homes; cleaning gutters, mulching leaves and stacking firewood. Prepping their nests for what wintry tempests may brew. This increased activity on the home front is surely sparked by the seasonal folds, and likewise may I say the same about my dinner tonight. A nice spot of hot, savory soup sounded good all day, chicken and wild rice to be exact, and when I got home, I aimed to do something about it.

Oddly enough, my sojourn into soup today started many hours previous, flannel clad, in a local big box store which rhymes roughly with “my nards“. Anyways, I was strolling through the manlier sections of the real estate there, fondling saber saws and cold chisels, you know how it goes, when I came upon a small grocery section, recessed deep in the bowels of the store. It was lovely to the eyes, I must admit, like a gastronomic island oasis in a sea of hardware. I paused as any man would, in the shadow of a veritable wall of beef jerky – meat spanning a fathom wide off both my anatomical port and starboard, and rising higher than I could reach. Glory be, but I had stumbled upon a worthy den!  I moseyed thus over to a wall of assorted nuts, all neatly canned and priced to sell. Every nut you could think of. In every size and shape. And I might have lingered there too, had I not first been wooed by the soup.

wild rice soup

The soup was in an semi-attractive yellow package I guess, but the price was even more handsome still. I do not know why, but men folk are sometimes drawn to these things.  I think because it looks easy. Or barring that, it must be the pretty pictures. At any rate, Shore Lunch Creamy Wild Rice it was called, and it even looked creamy, so I tossed it in my cart. I knew with a supplement of chicken quarters I had back home, and a hand full of mesquite wood chips, I could do something worthy with this humble offering, patron to the pit. And that’s just what we did.


So under a gray November sky,  we did up the soup as per it’s instructions, but of course we did it on the faithful Weber Kettle, for poetic reasons you see. Real men don’t need stoves! Placing the pot over direct heat, stirring often, it’s heady aromas soon melded with the cool, Autumn air. Along side, we lightly seasoned some chicken quarters in garlic salt, and grilled them up as well, opposite the hot coals.  And lastly, we tossed some mesquite wood onto the coals for that signature scent and added touch only found in outdoor cooking. There by, and for a good while, we let it simmer and smoke whilst the November breeze rustled through the old oak tree. It was good times, as the season’s first snow flakes fluttered down about thee.



When the chicken was bronzed and savory to eat, and the soup had thickened up, we brought it all inside. Shredded the chicken and stirred it lovingly into the soup, bringing a smokey tinted affair to the meal. And it was good. Darn good I must say. My bride mistakenly assumed even, that I had slaved the afternoon away, preparing the dish from scratch. Now I suppose I could have let the myth perpetuate itself, with my chest stuck out in sad deception- but I couldn’t. I eventually had to fess up that tonight’s rations were procured from but a humble yellow bag that I found at the hardware store. And if she didn’t mind beef jerky and nuts for dessert, I had that covered too! Amen.


Mesquite Smoked Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup. Sometimes you’d be surprised where your next meal will come from. Then again, all is possible patron to the pit. Grill on, people!



30 responses

  1. Brings back memories PotP. My mom used to make a creamy wild rice and chicken soup from scratch. You may have stirred a desire to experiment! Happy Thanksgiving.

    November 25, 2014 at 3:10 pm

    • Thanks, Bill. Appreciate that. Happy Thanksgiving to your and yours!

      November 25, 2014 at 3:21 pm

  2. Great to see you back on my reader!

    Michael (aka Duncan)

    November 25, 2014 at 3:24 pm

    • No kidding!! Likewise, good to see you around and about! Under a fresh new identity no less. Very cool!

      Happy Thanksgiving, sir!

      November 25, 2014 at 3:39 pm

  3. Just the other day I had to toss my bean pot, it has had too many seasons sitting on my grill and was ready to be retired! Now I’ll have to get another one and try soup next time I grill!

    November 25, 2014 at 3:26 pm

    • There ya go, Kate! Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!

      November 25, 2014 at 3:36 pm

  4. allskyedout

    I would devour that.

    Dana Guidera
    Author of 101 Entertaining Questions

    November 25, 2014 at 3:41 pm

  5. That looks so delicious! I just don’t use my grill enough – soup on the grill, who knew?!

    What is it about chicken soup that we all find it so wonderful?

    November 25, 2014 at 4:39 pm

    • Thanks Vanessa! I do not know what it is a out chicken soup, but it does seem to caress the soul like no other food can. And of course every thing is better on the grill. Good to hear from you again. Thanks for stopping by!

      November 25, 2014 at 4:55 pm

  6. Ron Duke

    G’day Patrons.
    I love what you did with the pack of soup, looks great. One must never judge until all avenues are explored and tasted with open mind.
    I hope you all, on the other side of the pond, have a wonderful Thanksgiving. I will be sharing it with you in spirit on the day.
    Cheers to all Patrons of the Pit.

    November 25, 2014 at 4:46 pm

    • Thank you kindly , Ron! Always a pleasure when you chime in. You are a supreme example of the perfect commenter. Many thanks. I shall raise a drum stick in your honor this Thursday. Be well!

      November 25, 2014 at 4:59 pm

  7. It was so good to see your latest in my inbox! Some times I miss the frigid Alberta clippers of Minnesota for a minute or two, but then I just put on my bathing suit and hop in the pool.

    God bless you and yours this Thanksgiving! Glad you do not live in St. Louis.

    November 25, 2014 at 5:34 pm

    • I see your sense of humor is fully defrosted down there. Always rubbing it in ! Thank you John and Mary too, and Happy Thanksgiving to you both.

      November 25, 2014 at 6:10 pm

  8. look so delicious, but in my country, it’s so hard to make it, wish i could cook it 🙂 tks for sharing 🙂

    November 26, 2014 at 12:47 am

    • Many thanks, appreciate that! What country are you from?

      Thanks for commenting.

      November 26, 2014 at 9:39 am

  9. Great blog…great ideas…and I especially liked “moseyed.”

    November 26, 2014 at 7:54 am

    • Well thank you! Indeed, tell who in this world doesn’t enjoy a good “mosey” from time to time! Love that word.


      November 26, 2014 at 9:38 am

  10. Now that is something my stomach could digest. It looks delicious. There is nothing like cooking outdoors. Everything always seems to taste better.

    November 26, 2014 at 8:46 am

    • I know it. So true. And good times indeed. Thanks for stopping by!

      November 26, 2014 at 9:37 am

  11. Oh Patrons, what a wonderful shortcut you have discovered. You’ll be happy to know that Shore Lunch is originally known for their fishing breading. However; their secret is the “garlic biscuit mix” they make. If you love the garlic biscuits at Red Lobster, you have discovered their twin by way of Shore Lunch. 🙂 Naturally, these are better when you cook them outdoors in cast iron. Wishing you a blessed Thanksgiving, oh Patrons.

    November 26, 2014 at 9:11 am

    • Oh I do quite fancy the Red Lobster Biscuits! And now you’re telling me I can re-create these gems any time I please, with a sack of shore lunch garlic biscuit mix? Done! I’ll have to give that a go some day. Always up for one of them biscuits they bring out. Anyways, thanks TJ. Wishing you and your family a blessed Thanksgiving too. Take care, man.


      November 26, 2014 at 9:36 am

  12. Good gracious, that looks good!! Have a Happy Thanksgiving!!

    November 26, 2014 at 6:56 pm

  13. Liz

    we make regular trips to “my nards” (bahahaha–cracked me up with that line) regularly now that we’re working on a basement project. Will look for this soup next visit. Yum! I always buy a box of movie-theater candy before we hit the register. It always fascinates me what they carry–stuff I hadn’t known existed (ear bud beanie hats anyone?). Definitely a good time to shop there.

    Kudos on the grilling, as always. Your challenging season has begun, but I know you’re up for it. Looking forward to your Die-Hard Grilling Posts 😀

    November 26, 2014 at 10:56 pm

    • Oh yes, that store has all matter of odds and ends, it seems. A person could live there almost, being every need is met. Granted, you’d get the hemmeroids, but you could it! My spell check won’t acknowledge that word.

      Indeed, sub zero grilling posts to come. We don’t shut down operations just for a little snow and cold and wind chill and dark of night and frostbite and frozen bbq sauce. Mercy.

      Happy Thanksgiving, Liz, to you and yours.

      Thanks for being such an excellent subscriber over the last couple years. You make the blogosphere a better place. Carry on!

      November 27, 2014 at 10:45 am

  14. Looks Awesome, and must have hit the spot on a chilly day. I recall using a shore lunch product in northern British Columbia on a fishing trip to bread our lake trout and it was pretty spectacular. An inspiring tale as usual. Thanks fellas.

    December 1, 2014 at 12:44 am

    • Yeah, it’s nothing fancy or anything, but they do alright. And they do even better I suspect, out in the wilds of British Columbia. Location has a way of making most things taste better.

      Thanks MR Quincho. Happy belated Thanksgiving to you and yours!

      December 2, 2014 at 9:39 am

  15. I like your style.. grill on!

    December 4, 2014 at 3:21 am

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